How excited we PC gamers were when we first saw Watch Dogs (or Watch_Dogs, for pedants) at E3 2012: "If that's what the graphics look like on those 'next-gen' consoles, imagine how good they'll be on my multiple graphics card PC!", we so naively thought. Many of us pre-ordered the game, and some even splashed out a new, debt-inducing GPU to enjoy it on (i.e. me).
Then the big day came; after downloading the game and sticking the settings up to ultra - as anyone with a $500 gfx card would do - gamers were expecting to see something they'd never seen before - and they did! Instead of the amazing looking Watch Dogs we had witnessed at E3, we got a still image, then another one, then another. It was about this time the horrible realization set in that this was, in fact, the game itself. And it was running at less than 1 frame-per-second.
Ubisoft was its typical helpful self, and suggested turning the graphical options down - right down. Even on the most powerful rigs, Watch Dogs was only playable when it was downgraded to the point where it resembled a 360/PS3 title. Upcoming patches were promised to improve this horrible port, and Ubisoft suggested we play the game until their release - which we did, until all the save game files started to break. What was the company's response to this? "Start the game again!"
Unfortunately, a lot of people didn't have this option (me included), as by now Watch Dogs simply wouldn't start - likely some attempt at self-euthanasia on its part.
It took two weeks before various patches and drivers made Watch Dogs playable, and even longer before ultra settings could be used without it turning into a slideshow. Once fixed, it really was a good game, but that's no excuse for what people who bought it on release went through. The moral of all this? Bad ports need to become a thing of the past - but that probably won't happen, so just stop pre-ordering games.
What other games have had terrible PC ports? Got any horror stories you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below!